Preliminary competition for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ comes to a close
© FIFA.com

The competition that began in front of 60 supporters on the Pacific island of Samoa on 25 August 2007 was wrapped up early on Thursday morning (CET) in Montevideo, when Uruguay completed the line-up of teams that will compete at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. As always, the lengthiest football tournament in the world offered up a wealth of facts and figures. 

No fewer than 853 matches were played across the six confederations to determine which 31 of the 200 participating countries (more than ever before) would vie for world football’s crown alongside hosts South Africa next year.  

There was an encouraging growth in attendance figures. Some 20 million fans – an average of almost 23,000 per match – flocked to the stadiums, creating a new attendance record in the history of the FIFA World Cup™ preliminary competition.  

However, there was a downward trend in the number of goals scored, with the total of 2,344 – or 2.75 per match – representing the lowest average since the preliminary competition for the finals in Italy in 1990.

For more facts and figures surrounding the preliminary competition for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, click on the document on the right hand side.